Pope Francis: Gays, other groups deserve apology from Christians
In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, Pope Francis has recently said that gays and certain other groups deserve an apology from Christians, according to the Catholic News Agency.
Aboard the papal plane during his flight home from Armenia, the Pope was asked during a press conference, if he agreed with German cardinal Reinhard Marx, who recently stated that gays deserved an apology for the church’s poor treatment of them. In response, Francis cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a book-form summary of Catholic beliefs:
“I will repeat what I said on my first trip,” said Francis. “I repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that they must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally.”
Though Francis claimed that gays deserved an apology from Christians, he did refer to their sexual orientation as a “condition”, which Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi later clarified as a reference to a lifestyle situation rather than a medical condition, according to the Sun Sentinel.
“The problem is a person that has a condition, that has good will and who seeks God, who are we to judge?” said Francis. The Pope had previously used the “Who am I to judge?” phrase during a 2013 airborne press conference, signaling a greater tolerance and respect of homosexuality in the Church.
The Pope claimed the Church should seek forgiveness for “not behaving many times”, though he referred to Christians rather than to the Church.
“When I say the Church, I mean Christians! The Church is holy, we are sinners!” said Francis. “Christians must ask forgiveness for having not accompanied so many choices, so many families.”
The apologies, Francis said, should also be extended to other groups and issues as well.
“I think that the Church must not only ask forgiveness to the gay person who is offended,” said Francis, “but she must ask forgiveness to the poor too, to women who are exploited, to children who are exploited for labor. She must ask forgiveness for having blessed so many weapons.”
Though Francis feels gays deserve an apology from the Church, it’s worth noting that his stances against gay marriage have not softened. In April, Francis detailed in a 246-page document, The Apostolic Exhortation on the Family, that “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”, and that it is “unacceptable that local churches should be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies should make financial aid to poor countries dependent on the introduction of laws to establish ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex.”
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